At Bellingham Middle School we aim to enable the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers and Accelerated Reader helps us achieve that. Accelerated Reader is a nationally proven, computer based program which encourages pupils to choose and read books at an appropriately challenging level and take quizzes to check their understanding.
“Children and young people who use Accelerated Reader tend to enjoy reading more, do it more often and think more positively about reading than their peers who do not use Accelerated Reader. They are also more likely to see a link between reading and their successes.” Dr Christina Clark, National Literacy Trust 2018
A STAR assessment, a standardised reading test, is completed at the beginning of the new school year to provide a benchmark reading level. This is repeated in December, March and July to give a reliable measure of reading progression and every child in BMS is enrolled in it. STAR data shows very clearly if a pupil is on track and also highlights when pupils are underachieving - we can then implement any interventions necessary. Each pupil receives a ZPD, a Zone of Proximal Development, put simply, children read books within this zone with the lower number being the entry point and the highest number being a more challenging read. We recommend that once a book is finished, a quiz should be completed within 48 hours because if they fail the quiz, it's difficult for us to gauge whether it's because of understanding or memory.
Accelerated Reading has been a great success here at Bellingham Middle. The children enjoy the many competitions ran each year, for example we have year group word count competitions, an inter house reading cup challenge and individual millionaires. We also celebrate confident readers, most improved readers and those who encourage and advise other readers.
Our fully stocked and ever evolving library has many genres and something for everyone, including graphic novels, non-fiction, classics, magazines, annuals and Barrington Stoke books. Barrington Stoke is a fabulous range, specifically designed for dyslexic children or reluctant readers, printed on a soft buff colour which is designed to be less stressful on the eye. Of course, your child may have books at home which they'd like to read and quiz on and it's easy to check whether it's in their range by simply looking online at AR Bookfinder (link below) We are also more than happy to help or advise.